ITA-COSUF safety prize for young researchers 12 Nov 2015

ITA-COSUF News Release

Young researchers and tunnelling professionals are being called on to enter their research or practice in the field of underground safety for the ITA-COSUF 2016 safety award.

The award is granted annually for outstanding theoretical research work, or practical application, in the field of operational safety or security of underground facilities. Candidates must be under-35 but do not need to be ITA-COSUF members.

Application procedure

We wish to attract the interest of the new generation of professionals on safety and security of underground facilities" said Dr Roland Leucker, Chairman of ITA-COSUF. The winner will receive an invitation to attend an award ceremony to be held during the ITA-COSUF workshop in autumn next year (2016), plus travelling and accommodation expenditures and a €1,000 cash prize. He or she will have the opportunity to present their work during a plenary session of the workshop.

Dr Roland Leucker (right) presents Karl Fridolf with the 2015 Award
Dr Roland Leucker (right) presents Karl Fridolf with the 2015 Award

The application, in English, should be received by 29 February 2016 at the ITA Secretariat in Lausanne, Switzerland. Additional information will become available on the new ITA-COSUF website.

The award winner will be selected by the ITA-COSUF steering board, who will be looking for evidence of research or practice that is specifically aimed at safety or security of underground facilities, preferably reflecting an interdisciplinary approach. Among other criteria, candidates should:

  • describe new aspects in the area of safety in operation and/or security in underground facilities;
  • have completed the study or practice no more than two years before the application date;
  • give clear and concise descriptions of the objectives, scientific basis, work steps, results achieved and their relation to the current state of the art;
  • present work that offers a unique contribution to the field of underground safety.

Previous winners

At WTC2015 in Dubrovnik, Croatia, this year's safety prize was awarded to Karl Fridolf, researcher at the SP Fire Research Institute in Sweden. As part of his PhD research, Fridolf carried out an extensive field test that focused on the impact of smoke on the walking speed of evacuating train passengers.

In 2014 the award was made to Francesco Colella for his work on the modelling of tunnel ventilation systems using a multi-scale model. Enrico Ronchi won the award in 2013 for his contribution in the area of evacuation modelling in road tunnel fires. Ronchi combined and tested various evacuation models to increase the reliability of predictions regarding human behaviour. In 2012 the COSUF Award went to Ying Zhen Li of the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden for his work on fire dynamics in tunnels. His research findings into tunnel sprinkler systems have been published by TunnelTalk.

COSUF was established in May 2005 following a joint initiative of eight European research projects all aimed at improving tunnel safety. In the last seven years COSUF has gathered among its members some of the most recognised experts, scientists and operators from all corners of the globe. The Committee scope is safety in the operation and security in tunnels and other underground facilities. ITA-COSUF aims at improving and promoting safety and security underground through networking activities and dissemination of technical culture and new knowledge.

Other winners include Ben Nieman (2009), who received the inaugural ITA-COSUF Award for his masters thesis at the University of Delft, Netherlands, which dealt with the ever-present problem of large cracks at the fire-exposed side of tunnel linings. The 2010 award was given to Stefan Kratzmeir from Germany for his excellent record on tunnel safety research while working as a scientific manager on R&D applications.

Add your comment

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and comments. You share in the wider tunnelling community, so please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language professional.
In case of an error submitting Feedback, copy and send the text to
Name :

Date :

Email :

Phone No :

   Security Image Refresh
Enter the security code :
No spaces, case-sensitive